Rents increased in Neuquen due to higher demand and low vacancy rates. Real estate agents have clients on waiting lists for apartments, and rentals are not listed for long before being rented. Construction projects are underway for new apartment buildings, which should help increase the number of 2-3-bedroom apartments. However, with growing expatriate demand, rents may increase over the next 6-12 months.
China has implemented measures that generally reduce social security contributions. The reductions are primarily targeting employer contributions to the social insurance programs and are part of a multi-year effort to unify pension systems at the national level. However, the social insurance wage base has increased in Shanghai, resulting in an increase in employee contributions to social security for Shanghai taxpayers. The net effect is a reduction in income tax for Shanghai taxpayers as the increased employee social contributions are deductible.
Construction of new apartments and houses over the last four years has created a large rental supply in Santa Cruz. Lower demand for these rentals has resulted in dropping rents. Vacancy rates are high at all but the most popular apartment buildings. Construction continues, with more 2-3-bedroom apartments planned to enter the rental market in the next 6-18 months. However, sources believe rents have likely reached their lowest point.
On August 11th, Argentina held primary elections ahead of the general election scheduled for October 27th. Center-left candidate Alberto Fernandez and running mate former President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner defeated center-right President Mauricio Macri. This result created uncertainty about the future of Argentina’s economic policy. Many investors pulled their money out of Argentina, and ratings agencies such as Fitch and Standard & Poor’s downgraded their credit rating. The peso experienced rapid and significant devaluation against the dollar, losing roughly 20% of its value in a matter of days. In an effort to stabilize the peso, Macri re-instituted currency controls that had been eliminated in 2015.
During the August survey of Harare, our visit found the Zimbabwean economy in a state of transition. This June, after a decade of using a mix of approaches but primarily relying on the U.S. dollar for transactions, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe announced that a new Zimbabwean dollar (ZWL), also known as the Zimdollar, was the only acceptable form of payment.
Data Points brings you the latest updates from our Housing, Goods & Services, and Tax departments. These highlights are based on our expert international surveys, which are conducted on location by our global data collection team.
There has been a small increase in the maximum contribution to the Accident Compensation Levy. The net effect is a small increase in tax for higher incomes. To simplify and modernize New Zealand’s tax administration, effective April 1, 2019, employers are required to file “employee income information” every pay cycle.
A withholding tax system that was previously announced as taking effect as of January 1, 2018, went into force on January 1, 2019. The new withholding requirement will apply to many income types, including employment income.
Economic liberalization in Myanmar over the past decade has brought significant change to the availability of goods and services in Yangon. While expatriates once shopped on home leave or R&R trips, now Mango or Nike are available at the nearest mall.
Major tax reform has been implemented in Lithuania for 2019. One goal of the changes is to shift the tax burden from employers to employees. Employer contributions to social security have been substantially reduced.